Sessions Praises Bipartisan Agreement


WASHINGTON, DC – Less than 12 hours after the House approved bipartisan legislation to fund the government through December 9th, U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (TX-32) appeared before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society yesterday morning to praise the measure and discuss several key priorities that were addressed on the House floor.

“It was a victory,” the Texas lawmaker stated, referring to the agreement that passed the House by an overwhelming margin of 342-85 and was signed into law by the President yesterday afternoon. “We had the Senate that we had to deal with, yet they also had to deal with us in all fairness. And I think we played up to our weight class.”

Sessions serves as Chairman of the Rules Committee. In this role, he helped write the rule with which the funding bill was considered, and played an instrumental role in striking the agreement that allowed several other key issues to be considered by the House. One of those issues was the Zika Virus. According to Sessions, the agreement provides $1.1 billion to fight Zika, and comes on the heels of a series of meetings he has held with health officials over the best way to combat the disease.

“I’ve held a series of meetings with Tony Fauci, who’s head of infectious diseases at NIH, and NIH Director Collins,” Sessions recounted. “They held their fourth meeting with me this past Tuesday, which I opened up to Members up at the Rules Committee. They indicated that they are turning the corner on Zika. Tony Fauci put it into some perspective — for every single human that is killed by a shark, there are 74,000 people killed by mosquitos. They are dangerous, we must know more about them, and we are turning the corner.”

Sessions also discussed another issue that was addressed yesterday – providing $170 million in aid to help solve the lead water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The aid was approved as an amendment to a separate water resources bill that also passed the House. Sessions said approving the aid was the right thing to do, and commended leaders on both sides of the aisle for finding common ground on the bill.

“Whoever’s fault it is,” the Rules Committee Chairman said of the crisis, “Flint is a city in the United States of America. We have an obligation for all of us to work together … We should work with them, and that’s what the Speaker did. The Speaker stepped up to the plate, and we offered language that enabled the Democrats to be in support. I would like to give accolades to Louise Slaughter. Louise is the ranking Member of the Rules Committee. She worked really well with me — not just this week; she always does — and that made a difficult circumstance better.”

In addition to discussing last night’s bipartisan agreement and some of the legislative initiatives approved on the House floor, Sessions – who served two successful terms as Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee — also shared his thoughts on the presidential campaign and the GOP nominee’s performance in the first presidential debate.

“Mr. Trump is going to have to decide,” the former NRCC Chair stated. “He’s going to have to start preparing for the debates and do better. I don’t think he did poorly. He just let her off the canvas at least five or six times. For the negotiator that he is, he should have negotiated the 30,000 emails directly that night. Come with his tax statement and laid it out and given it to the moderator and said, ‘As soon as she releases hers, you may release this.’ He is going to have to play strategically and tactically if he is going to win this election.

“He is going to have to show the American people that he’s not hiding behind — as Mrs. Clinton is — some mirror of secrecy or what a lawyer tells him. That is not going to cut it. The American people do not like that. They don’t deserve it, they don’t like it, and they will actually give credit to and admire a person who is forthright about who they are and what they’ll do. So I think that one of the things I would say if I were advising Mr. Trump is that if you’re a deal cutter, then cut a deal. You’re used to doing it on TV — go cut the deal and actually win the debate.

“Secondly, I would say this to you – he’s a non-traditional Republican candidate. I have no clue why he is as anti-trade as he is, but he blames China rather than the Democratic Party for their policies. And I think that’s a mistake. We have quite a number of Asian voters who are not just in Dallas, Texas, but all across this country. And he has not yet learned that he wants every voter to view him favorably and then give him their vote. So I think that they’ve got a lot of work to do. With that said, I’m going to vote early and often for Mr. Trump.”

To view the remarks of Chairman Sessions before The Ripon Society yesterday morning, please click on the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.